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R Beginner Bootcamp

Many thanks to Microsoft NERD for hosting this event (please note you need to bring ID to show at their front desk).  A few dollars will go to cover pizza that will arrive about 5:40ish (workshop starts at 6).    The rest of the money will be donated to a local non-profit and/or put back into the local community.  The room will be setup classroom style (rows of tables with power strips).  Food/drink is allowed in the room.  MS has fridges full of soda as well as Keurig-like machines for coffee, hot chocolate, etc.  The event description has three parts:

I. Schedule

II. Pre-Workshop Installation

III.  Transportation

I. Schedule:

05:30 Networking / Pizza / Setup - we will be at MS early to help folks with install issues.

06:00  R Overview

06:15   R-Studio: inputting scripts (multiple lines of code), entering code, installing packages and libraries, running a script, looking at data, visualizing output.

06:30  Data Management: inputting data, manipulating data/text using Vectors, DataFrames -- think Excel Columns (Vectors) and Excel spreadsheet (DataFrame).  We will covering some stats along the way, too.

07:30 Break

07:35  Graphics: Barplots, Histograms, Line, Scatterplots; Graph Formatting.  If you have ideas of what kind of chart you wish to create using R, then this can be discussed on break, afterwards to help out on this.

08:30 Recap


The workshop, which is the 6th time it has been offered, and is designed to get folks up and running using the basics of R.  This includes data management and moving real-world data in and out, performing analytics and generating data visualizations using various graphic packages.  After completing this hands-on workshop, you'll have a foundation for moving onto more extensive analysis in R.  

II. Pre-Boot Camp Software Installation

So that we can make the best use of our time in class, please setup your laptop beforehand. The instructions below describe installing and testing the items we'll use in the BootCamp.   If anything here is tricky, please email me or post a note in the comments, and we'll help you straighten out any issues.  You'll have four steps to get your laptop ready:

(1) Install R

(2) Install RStudio

(3) Install the BootCamp example files

(4) Test the Installation

What if I already have this software installed?

Definitely upgrade by following the instructions below. RStudio and R have are under very active development, and you'll get the most out of the BootCamp if your installation is in sync with the course.

(1) Install R


Choose one of the USA download mirrors

In the section Download and Install R, choose Windows / Linux / Mac OS X

Note for Windows users:

You only need the base package for this workshop ("Binaries for base distribution")

Note for Mac OS X users:

You need only the R binary, e.g., R-3.1.0.pkg (latest version)

(2) Install RStudio


Install the appropriate package for your platform

Note: Windows users need Administrator privileges to install RStudio

(3) Install the BootCamp example files

Go to and download the file:  r-growth

(4) Test Your Installation

Start RStudio. You should see something like this

Click File / Open file

open the file r-growth.R

In the upper-left RStudio panel, click "Source"

You should see a graph in the bottom-right panel.

If you saw a graph Growth of R, congrats, everything is working!

Please post your experiences with these installation instructions, and we'll make sure things are going smoothly.


III. Transportation:


Red line subway stop is nearby.  Several buses go into Kendall Square.



*MIT has a few free parking lots - Hayward Street and E51 on Amherst Street.  Please use online maps for directions.  Information can be found here at the bottom of the page:

*Microsoft has a basement garage parking lot - cost is $10

*Metered parking on Main Street and some MIT streets - if you use this option please make sure you check the street signs and meters to know what time these become free so you do not get a ticket.

Join or login to comment.

  • Chad M.

    Thank you John!

    July 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is anybody taking this course :

    July 7, 2014

  • Harvey Y.

    got the install done and got a Number of R packages
    plotted...see you at 5:30 today

    July 8, 2014

  • Beth

    Can anyone tell me how to get there from the Red Line?

    July 8, 2014

  • Scott D.

    Looking forward!

    July 8, 2014

  • Paul P.

    Sadly, I just realized my flight is coming in too late to make this class. I hope to make the next one, though!

    July 7, 2014

  • John V.

    More online resources and courses can be found at the below link: enter "rprog" into the search box to filter by R.

    2 · July 7, 2014

  • Andy

    I grabbed R Cookbook from O'Reilly and thinking of doing the course from

    July 7, 2014

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